Monday, December 31, 2007

Just Give Me Stamps blog has a new banner and watermarks

I have admired Laurie's stamping for quite a while on her Just Give Me Stamps blog. She simply has an amazing stamping style. I was so pleased to be able to create a banner and watermarks for her, particularly after all the inspiration she's put out there for others.

Her colors were chosen not so much by any one company's colors, although she listed SU colors for reference, but additionally I went and looked at vintage paint samples for inspiration. I sent her a basic banner to preview, and then we pushed it further using her suggestion of tone-on-tone swirls and stepping up to a new font. This is the first time I've used this font (although I kept trying to work it in on other banners), and I think it looks great!

Because Laurie and I both liked the font so much, I wanted to feature it on her watermarks. She has two designs to choose from, one that's Stampin' Up! specific, and on that is for use with other company's designs.

I really enjoyed these projects. If you haven't already visited her blog, definitely stop in for a look.

Laurie thank you so much for choosing to work with me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Changing your colors to match your banner on Blogger

If you really want to customize your blog, try changing your colors to match! For complete customization, you'll need to know your hex color codes (these are colors that are coded so that any website can recognize them).

If I've designed a banner for you previously, check with me and I can help you figure out codes. Otherwise, you can just click on close color matches from the color palette shown in the Fonts and Colors Tab. When I reference entering a hex code below, that's where you'd click on a color that you'd like used for each element.
  1. Log in to Blogger.
  2. Under Template, click on the Fonts and Colors Tab.
  3. Down the left side, there will be a box with a vertical scroll bar listing all the things that you can pick a color for. You'll need to change the color of the hex code for each item using the following code and entering it in the box to the right that is labeled as "Edit color hex code" with a # and a six digit code. You'll follow the same steps for each item (Main Background Color, Text Color, Link Color, etc.).
  4. Click and highlight Main Background Color. From your custom list of hex codes, copy the #______ code to match with each item on the list. Go to the box under Edit color hex code, double-click and highlight what's there and then paste in the new code copied from this email list. Scroll down through each item on the list of items and update the colors. After each time you enter the hex code, you need to hit the Enter key, and for what it's worth, when I used the Enter key on the number key pad, it didn't seem to work. You'll know it's taken the change if you see the sample color in the scroll list on the left change to what you were expecting. You'll still want to save using the Save Changes button, but without hitting Enter, it doesn't seem to "get it."

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My first logo design

This is a logo that I've designed for a friend of a friend. She's starting a new business, and I'm excited to help her create her image! I think this turned out as a very dynamic presentation and I'm so pleased that she liked it too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Making a watermark "brush" for use in Photoshop

These instructions are based on my version of Photoshop which is part of the CS3 package. This is my first attempt at instructions for Photoshop. If you need help with older versions, I have some experience and may be able to help if necessary, but I don't have access to an older version to reference while writing up instructions.
Making a watermark "brush" for photoshop:
  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Open your dark watermark version.
  3. Click on the paintbrush tool so that it is active.
  4. Go to the menu at the top and choose "Edit." Scroll down to the option to "define brush preset."
  5. Edit the name of your brush if you'd like in the name option box that should pop up. Click ok.
  6. You should see an outline version of your watermark as you move the cursor around.
  7. Open a photo that you'd like to put your watermark on.
  8. In your color palette, pick a color that will look good over your photo (i.e., show up, but not overwhelm the image).
  9. With your brush still using the watermark shape, click on your photo, and save as a new version of your photo referencing that it's a watermarked version.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have questions. :)

Adding your banner to your Blogger blog

To post your new blog banner to your Blogger blog:
  1. Save banner where you can find it on your computer.

  2. Login to Blogger.

  3. Under the Template tab, click on the Page Elements tab. Click on the Edit link.
  4. This will open a new window that should say "Configure Header" at the top of it.

  5. Within that window, where it says "Image" to the right of it, click on the button next to "From your computer:" and click on the Browse button. Navigate to your saved banner file and double-click on it. This will select your banner and it should show up in the Configure Header window as a small preview of the image.

  6. Click the button next to "Instead of title and Description."

  7. Click the orange "save changes" button.
If this doesn't make sense, or if you have questions, please send me an email (using the link in the menu on the side). For my customers, if for some reason your banner doesn't fit the template you've chosen, please email me and I'd be happy to resize your banner to fit without losing quality.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Maria's Stamping Marathon blog has a new banner!

This is Maria's new banner for her blog. She knew the name of the blog for sure, but wondered if I could help with the subtitling. As I worked on it, I thought about it, and suggested "work your creativity" because I know that if I don't use my creativity, it tends to falter and doesn't seem as accessible when I really want it. This banner was truly a team effort, and I just couldn't seem to get it quite right to please myself, so I showed her variations, and different styles, and she patiently gave me feedback. :)

This is the final version, and I know we're both really happy with it! I love how calm and clean the design is. If you get the chance, stop by Maria's blog and check out her work and if you're there late in the week, you can leave a comment and be entered for her Friday Freebie drawing!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ellen's Stamping Expressions has a new banner and watermark!

Ellen over at Stamping Expressions and I have been working on her banner for a bit. Lots of tweaks to this one, but completely worth it for the clean, airy stylings of her banner. Ellen was wonderful to work with, and I particularly like the way the butterfly looks almost like it was colored in with chalk. We started with a monochromatic banner, but she was exactly right when she suggested adding in some yellow on the butterfly.

We also had to work to get the font right. Fonts are tricky because not all of them come with the built-in option of bolding or italics, so for this one, it's one of the more standard fonts I use (because of its popularity), but it doesn't look like it because I skewed the font, to give it a look of its own!
Ellen's blog is a new one, but it's off to a good start! There are some very cute projects over there. Thanks, Ellen for choosing me, this was a fun project with a happy ending! :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Josee has a new banner and watermark set

Josee is a busy demonstrator (most are!) up in Canada who needed not only a blog banner, but a banner that would also work for her newsletter. I made several variations for her with and without contact information and sized for the blog and newsletter. She had her colors all picked out before she came to me, and knew she wanted a flower and polka dots incorporated. We worked together to get it as she wanted it, and this is how it turned out!

While we were at it, we also created a watermark for her and it looks like this:

I think this is a nice, clean look that she'll enjoy for a long time. When you get a chance, stop by Josee's site, and check out the cute stuff she's got up.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chris Simon has a new blog AND a new banner and watermarks!

I think this is the quickest collaboration EVER for me on a banner/watermark combo! Chris and I seemed to be in sync right from the start, and it just flowed from there.

Chris just started a blog over at and she was looking to brand it as her own. Well, she presented quite a challenge of wanting lots of color, but also wanted to reference the tranquility of yoga and the peacefulness that she's working to bring into her life.

Ok. I was daunted. So I tried to clear my runways of creativity by just throwing something together, mostly playing with trying to get the Om symbol in.

Well, what do you know? I liked what I made. So, with that caveat, I sent it as an "unofficial" preview draft to Chris. I'd originally told her I couldn't even start on it until the next day! The banner was approved almost from the start. We changed some colors and added "springy strings" to the right side of the image, and that was it.
Of course she also needed a watermark, and we agreed that I'd make a standard Stampin' Up! language oriented watermark, and also a more general watermark at no additional charge. I don't see the point in charging for a second watermark when I'm just changing the words! For her watermarks Chris didn't even give me direction - she said she wanted to see what was in my head first. :)
Apparently, I'm a mind reader AND a designer. There weren't ANY changes necessary to the watermark designs. :O What a great experience to hit it right off the bat with someone I've never met before and create just what they want. It was such a pleasure! Thanks, Chris, for taking the leap with me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Leaving the West behind

I decided to give myself a Thanksgiving present this morning and created my a new blog banner in between waiting for responses on designs that went out this morning to customers for feedback. This is a much more mod design than my last banner which was very old-West themed, and I like the bright cheerful nature of it.
What do you think?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Diane's Stampin' Pups

Some of you know that I have a real soft spot for dogs, so when Diane asked if I could help her design a banner that would incorporate her love of stamping and her dogs, I jumped at the chance! I was a little worried because Diane was SO easygoing that she didn't really give me detailed guidelines. She did give me colors and requested a clean layout, though, and that was a great place for me to start. Since they say that dogs leave paw prints on your heart, I thought the imbedded heart in the paw print was a cute angle to work with. I'm so glad I used it because in response to her first preview of her banner, Diane warmed my heart when she said the paw print is the cutest thing she's seen! She had also asked for input on a tagline, and as I was doing the build of her banner, the phrase just popped into my head.

Be sure to take some time and check out Diane's blog and enjoy some of her cute projects!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sherry's Stamped Treasures

Sherry was so easy to work for! She wanted minimal colors and a clean, professional appearance. I had a ton of fun making this banner (and I have to send a thanks out to my husband for his consulting and advising on this one)! This is very definitely not the direction I started out with for this banner, and it took me several tries that Sherry never even got to see, but I am so pleased with this design. Then, Sherry made my day when she emailed to tell me that she actually gasped when she first saw it. :)

When you have time, please stop in and check out Sherry's blog. She has some cute projects!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sherrie Thomas has a new banner and watermarks!

Sherrie's new banner is live and in place on her blog! This was a banner inspired by cool colors and an eye toward a whimsical, yet clean, girly design. I think the dotted background in particular pull everything together. Please take a moment to stop by Sherrie's blog and check out her great projects that she's posted. While you're there, you can also check out her watermark that she'll soon be using on her photos. Thank you, Sherrie, for choosing me for your designwork - you were a pleasure to work for!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stamping with Sheryl gets a new look!

Stampin' Up! demonstrator Sheryl wanted a new look for her website. She wanted to showcase some Stampin' Up product in her website banner, but to avoid retiring stamps, we had to leave stamps out for the most part. I'm particularly proud of the use of the blank wood block to showcase her tag line and copyright information. I knew when I laid out the merchandise that I wanted to use it for a message. As I told Sheryl, this project was another good excuse for owning so many Stampin' Up supplies! :)

Please stop in and check out her site, she has some great projects to share!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Purple Faerie Paper Crafts has a new banner!

This banner was designed for Nina of Purple Faerie Paper Crafts. The initial layout wasn't a problem, but then we had to coax the right colors together. :) Finally, it all came together! A watermark is in the lineup next for Nina. Be sure to visit her blog where you're sure to find a technique to strike your fancy!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New watermark for Susan Daly!

I think this may be the fastest watermark I've ever done! And I absolutely love it! I think it's pretty and fanciful and light. Susan at wanted a watermark with a butterfly and said she likes swirls. She also picked out a font from a banner that I'd done previously for the Stamp Your Art Out site. Thank you, Susan, for choosing me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Amy's Addiction has a new banner!

I'm pleased to reveal Amy's new blog banner. I particularly like the clean look of this one. She was very patient with me while we went through a couple of different designs, and then I got sick and delayed things for a while when I was sleeping off the crud! You'll want to check out her blog because it's got a BUNCH of really cute ideas on there.
Thanks Amy for hanging in there with me - I'm so glad you like the final product! You were a pleasure to work for. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Laurie's Stampin' and Scrappin' Place has a new banner!

I just wrapped up work on Laurie's new banner, and work is in progress on her watermark design. Laurie wanted a clean look that incorporated swirls with a couple of dragonflies. This was a very quick and easy process and everything came together so well with Laurie's input!

Her new banner will be in place soon on her blog at Please stop in and check out her work! Thanks, Laurie, for choosing to work with me!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lisa's new watermark is done!

I had a block on finishing up this watermark for some reason, so it took me a bit to wrap things up for Lisa. I think I was trying to make it more swirly and involved than it should have been! However, I got some time to finish it up last night and got Lisa's approval on it today.
She has new pictures to apply it to and it can soon be seen on her photos on her photography blog! Thanks again, Lisa, for choosing to work with me - you've been such fun!

Yvonne's watermark is ready to go!

Yvonne at Stamp Your Art Out now has a watermark to go with her banner that I created for her earlier this month. Two styles of the hand-drawn flowers that I did for her banner are included in this watermark. I think it turned out as a really fun and sweet design. Thanks for your business Yvonne - you're GREAT!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lisa Rosato has a new banner!

Lisa Rosato's photography blog has a new banner. She wanted a banner that would enhance her blog without detracting from the artistry of her photographs. I gave her a choice of about 30 fonts to choose from and it all came together from there! I am so excited to work with an artist from a "new" medium. Her photographs are beautiful and she was a real pleasure to work with! Please take a moment and check out her blog and her photography website. Her watermark is in progress and will be shared here soon!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Using your watermark with

For my customers who don't have Adobe Photoshop (either the full version or Photoshop Elements) I recommend a free program that can be downloaded. It's a software called Paint.NET and can be downloaded from (I don't have any affiliation with this company or its designers.)

You need to have your transparent watermark file [this has a .png file extension] created and saved prior to beginning this process. You also need to download and install the program.

To use a watermark in PAINT.NET:

Open Paint.NET.

Open your card photo that you want to watermark.

In the file menu across the type, click on LAYERS, IMPORT FROM FILE and browse to the folder that your watermarks are saved in. [I provide both a light and a dark version of the watermarks I create for my customers] Double click on the version you want based on whether light would look better or dark would look better against your image. This will layer your watermark over the card photo. If your watermark is larger than the card photo, the canvas size will be automatically enlarged to accommodate it and you'll see extra white area, probably to the right of your initial image.

To resize your watermark so it fits over your card photo, click on the .png image while your pointer is one of the arrows with the + sign next to it from the from the vertical toolbar on the left. You’ll see a border of what look like marching ants around the perimeter. Hold down the SHIFT key and click and drag one of the corners inward. Holding the shift key allows the image to keep its shape while being sized down which eliminates the possibility of distortion.

When the watermark is the size you want it to be, click on the .png and you can move it around to layer over the card photo wherever you would like it to be. If you want the "marching ants" to go away, click CTRL+D (unselect).

Now you'll delete the excess "canvas" if there was any from layering your .png file. You can do this by choosing a different tool from the vertical toolbar on the left. You want to select the dotted line square in the upper left. Draw a box around what you want to keep in your final image. Count eight icons in from the left to the icon to the immediate right of the paste icon. If you hover over it without clicking, it should show a label that says CROP TO SELECTION. If you didn’t get it all cropped closely enough, you can repeat the process until you get it where you’d like it. If you crop too much, you can type CTRL+Z (undo) and it will undo the last step you took. You can continue to undo until you get back to the last point where you liked how it was.


I hope this was helpful!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I thought I deserved a new face on my design blog

How's this for change?! I just couldn't resist setting up a new layout and creating a new header for myself. It's incredibly thematic, and I have no idea how long I'll keep it, but it's sure DIFFERENT!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I'm taking the weekend off of design work to go camping with my husband and a couple of friends, but if you like the new banner, please be sure to leave me a comment. I'd love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Stamp Your Art Out has a new banner!

Yvonne at Stamp Your Art Out was so patient with me during my "life run amuck" phase and was a real pleasure to work with. She wanted some doodle-esque flowers with some scrapbooking elements. The flowers were all hand-drawn just for her and then I created some brads and buttons to ground the flowers. The background is meant to look like canvas or textured cardstock. Please stop in and see some of her cute creations!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Life run amuck!

Hello to those who I am currently working with and those who might be considering my services. I'm sorry for any delay in answering your emails and moving forward on projects! I just switched over to a new computer and am working to get the software that I need for design work installed and will be up and running again. I also took a short vacation and went to the Stampin' Up annual convention. I should be back to a more normal (and prompt) schedule this week.

Thanks for your patience!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cherish Your Memories - new banner!

Pamela over at Cherish Your Memories has a new banner and watermarks! She's a Close to My Heart demonstrator who wanted a heart and swirls incorporated and pointed me to this great font, Pharmacy, for her subtitle. All of the elements for her banner except the fonts were hand drawn just for Pamela. She was wonderful to work with and has great projects on her blog. Be sure to stop in and check out her work!

Pamela's new watermark

Here's Close to My Heart demonstrator Pamela O'Connor's new watermarkdesign that coordinates with her blog banner. This is another instance of the Pharmacy font that she had found and requested. I pulled some of the elements that I'd drawn for her banner and incorporated them into the watermark. I'm really pleased with how cleanly this watermark came out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Encre et papier - new banner in place

Marthe Simard from Quebec hosts a blog for her downline. She's another demonstrator who needed a bilingual banner (I'm so impressed with these French/English speakers!!). It's a password protected blog, so I can't give you the address, but I wanted to show you the You Make Me Happy-based banner that she requested. I did my best to recreate the stylings of the Stampin' Up set from the current mini catalog because it's Marthe's favorite set. She really seems like such a lovely person and was wonderful to work with. Her watermark is on the way, and I'll share it when it's complete.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Suburban Origami has a new watermark!

Feather Webb hired me to create a watermark for her. She asked that a feather element be added in. This was a fun one to create and I got to use a scan of an actual feather on it! Thanks for letting me work with you, Feather!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CeeCee's watermarks are here!

I think this watermark turned out particularly pretty. I love the hyacinths and the delicate font. Catherine was wonderful to work with, and I'm so pleased to have arrived at a color and look that she really loves!

Again with a big omission on my part! This has also been sitting in my drafts file since May 1.

CeeCee's blog has a new banner!

I've just completed work on Catherine Côté's new blog banner. One of the tricks to her banner was finding a good looking font that could handle the accented 'e' in Creations, but we found one and it's fabulous. A really good looking serif font. She has some VERY cute creations on her blog, so be sure to stop by and check it out!

(Edited to add: I don't know what's wrong with me, but this has been sitting in my drafts file since MAY 1. Catherine, if you've checked in looking for this post, I'm SO sorry, I apparently just spaced it!!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I've Gone 2 the Dogs

Judith over at Gone 2 the Dogs won her blog banner as blog candy. We went through a couple of iterations until it was just right. She was really easy to work with, and knew what she wanted, which boiled down to the perfect design for her! Be sure to stop in and check out her blog. She has some great creations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dianne has new watermarks!

Dianne, from The Scrappin' Librarian blog, now has her new watermarks. The swirls match her banner that I created with her a few days ago (see below). She has a light version for use over dark photos (with sample blue as a background) and a dark version for use over light photos. Dianne, you were wonderful to work with!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Inkyfingers candy winner has a new banner

I just finished working with Toni to create her blog banner. She's one of my candy winners, and once I pulled together the requested swirls and butterflies for this image, it was an easy creation. A couple tweaks, and it was done! You can see her banner in place on her blog. Thanks for working with me, Toni, enjoy your new banner!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ink-a-Design now has a banner!

Carolynn has her new banner in place! She's another customer who wanted a doodled flower look for her blog, so I sat down and doodled some specially for her! She was so easy to work with, and I think her banner really has a light, fun look. Thanks for working with me Carolynn. I'm currently working on her watermarks, and when those are finalized, I'll share those, too!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Scrappin' Librarian

This banner was doodled and designed for Dianne Kersteter's blog, The Scrappin' Librarian. She was an alternate blog candy winner who has been enjoying working with black, pixie pink and white in her card creations, and thought she'd like it for a banner. She was so fun and enthusiastic to work with and had great direction for what she'd like to see on her blog.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Carol's Cards - banner complete!

Carol is the second of my blog candy winners to claim her prize.

I know this is bragging. Really, I do. But aren't these flowers the cutest?! When Carol told me she liked the look of Stampin' Up's current set, Doodle This, I knew just what to do! I drew these flowers with a black felt tip pen, scanned them, laid them out, and colored them in. This banner went up on Carol's site this morning.

Carol was SO easy to work with, and when I emailed it to her for a preview, and asked if she had changes, she simply said she LOVED IT. What a great feeling to give someone something that I am so proud of and have her love it, too. Carol's blog is brand new, but it's all dressed up and ready to go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Jeanine's new blog header

This is the blog header I made for Jeanine's blog (not at her request). However, she's my good friend and often willing to be my guinea pig for this sort of digital experimentation. Thanks, Jeanine!

She and I are going to come up with a design based on her preferences one of these days, rather than just my experimental compilation.

This image is the watermark that I made for her which was also just an experiment. I guess I figure that if I'm going to spend the time, someone might as well get some use out of the effort, even if it's just to tide them over until the perfect thing comes along!

Ally's Inky Hugs - new banner and watermark!

Ally, of Ally's Inky Hugs, is the first to claim her prize from my blog candy prize on my stamping blog, and she was so easy to work with, that we've already wrapped things up! The first photo below is of her new blog banner and the second is a shot of her watermark.

Ally, thanks for letting me work for you and with you! I hope you have fun with these.

I've heard from another candy winner and I'm working on her blog banner currently. I hope to have her samples to show you soon!